Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thought of the Night

To be a bartender must be like being psychic because all night long, you're in this altered mental state where the people all around you become progressively like, subjects moving and acclimating into the kingdom of the blind, right (although not that blind that they can't manage the hypertext of italics, right?), right? And meanwhile you're there. And you have this extra sense. That can see the world beyond what these assholes perceive. The world beyond, from which vantage it's pretty clear...these people are assholes. Right? Right? It's like an extra sense.

Sobriety is extra-sensory. Fuck second sight.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thought of the Day, Criticism

Criticism is overrated.

Cue Side Two.

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #18

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"First thing we do - let's kill all the lawyers."


Previous questions remaining open (THERE FOR THE TAKING!):
Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #14

Scoring remains open until the first correct answer is posted! Full score for 1st correct answer, half score for all subsequent correct answers until close of scoring.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A New Variant of My Favorite Card Game.

People complain that "War" is futile, because as soon as you've cut the deck - the outcome is predetermined! Locked in. No element of choice or chance. Well.

My little variant solves THAT little problem.

I'm going to assume you know the rules. It's pretty much a classic card game. If you don't know the rules of War - you're basically a pussy.

Anyway, the crux of the upshot of my variant is, when you each pull up the same rank card, there is a "WAR." Now normally in a War, you put down 1, 2, 3 cards - face down, in a vertical line. And then you draw one card up, and the up card fights that war for you. It's all riding on the up card.

But it's still all locked in, right? The up card is just the 4th drawn after we have War. Some say this is unsatisfying. They're missing the point that real war is pretty much exactly this way.

But regardless. To address these bullshit concerns, in my variant, whenever there's a war, you lay out 1, 2, 3, FOUR cards face down. Going across.

And then, each player chooses ONE of their four face-down cards to flip up. To be the up card. To fight the war.

Now that's sight unseen, mind you! These cards are all drawn face down - you don't get to peek. In fact, safety variant (if you're playing with a CHEATER): you can also play so that each player in a war picks the other person's upcard. This keeps cheaters and peekers at bay. You can hardly sneak a peek at your cards as you draw and hope to gain advantage thereby if the other person's picking which one of your cards fights! But for God's sake, I hope it shouldn't have to come to that. People should be able to trust each other in a war. Otherwise the whole saying that all is fair in a war kind of loses its meaning.

But whether you're playing my regular variant or the safety variant, you will note: there's your element of chance for you. There's your element of choice. Suddenly, the outcome becomes totally dependent on the pick you make!

So much for the "big knock" on my FAVORITE CARD GAME!!!!

I invented a Scrabble variant as well. The 'K' tile moves like a Knight.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Freud was a genius.

Freud was a genius. Not a medical genius, a marketing genius.

That guy took a bunch of his armchair rants and musings and applied them to change the world: he repurposed some rather incredibly speculative philosophy as medicine, and he made it stick. Ugh.

Genius.

Inner Revelations #2

I'm a jerk. But I'm no scumbag.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve Day Pt. 2: a Magical Day to Work!

CLEANING OUT MY WHOLE OFFICE!!!

So! As soon as I came around and saw everyone who was there (skeleton crew, as I noted in previous post), pretty much jawing and b.s.'ing, that is to say, catching up on workplace rapport-building, I took that as my license to say: "FUCK IT. Fuck what I came in today to do. I am doing something I should have done a long time ago. I am doing something there's no way I could easily do during a regular weekday. I'm pulling down the stacks. I'm dragging out the stuff-packed banker's boxes. I'm yanking pile after pile of files and reams of fossilized business and I am getting RESOLUTION on it.

New Year's coming up. You want resolution? TODAY, I AM ENGINEERING RESOLUTION.

Finding treasures to pick up on and run. Tossing dross that's been half-in my way and half-out-of-the-way, for far too long. Half of just about everything gets done by itself, I find - or by me, but without necessarily paying heed or mind to the files and papers trailing behind after the now unswollen, de-fevered previously hot, sick issue. I'm like a problem doctor, putting out (metaphorical) metabolic fires and getting disjointed joints popped back in; soothing sore heads and muscles (often a redundant distinction to draw) with the soft, cool, damp clean rag of my vocabulary; massaging roused ires and peaked pique back into place with a rough, vigorous laying on of hands and above and under all: the unwritten prescription of my own REVEALED SCIENCE! But as you can imagine with a character like that charging around, dispensing his own hard, sweet medicine as he sees damn FIT all the time left and right - with high standards and perfect discipline, sure! - but a bit behind, a bit lax on the paperwork aspect...it's excusable. It's to be expected. I mean, come on. Paperwork! That's what nurses are for for damn's sake.

Shut the fuck up, I am envisioning a male nurse. Christ, you people. How many times do I have to mention: committed feminist?

Okay, and now I'm envisioning a female nurse. Just for balance.

Ooo. The male nurse and the female nurse are kind of giving each other the eye. I think I better leave them to their rounds, shall I? Now where was I.

So, yes: before I got derailed on my extended medical metaphor/gender issues symposium, I was - HOLY SHIT!

Wow.

Those two nurses are totally going at it.

It's weird how the drabness of their olive-teal utilitarian uniforms provides heightened-eroticism-via-juxtaposition: duty and flesh. Can we judge them for yielding to this moment? These laborers in the halls of healing, surrounded each day by gifts of life, by science-derived miracle, but also hemmed in every moment by the grim spectre of decline, decay: inevitable death. Let us not judge them, for seizing the life that is theirs in their hands. Look at them. This is the full expression of that life - the primal and joyous driving principle of life. Life: to which they each wear themselves out in service. No sniggering or judgement, people please! This is natural, beautiful; not dirty.

Well, they're both totally all scrubbed and antiseptic, for one thing!

Anyway. I better go. More to do! I've already found like, 3 contracts, I could probably have closed out long ago by now! But shit - not my fault they're not 'priority,' now is it? Short answer: yes. True answer? A qualified 'fuck off.'

But I'll pick them up into proper priority order in the weeks to come, and they will forgive me with gratitute for any supposed lapse, I assure you. The grist for Monday's mill is growing TALL.

Next week?

Aw, man.

I expect to be able to catch so much up. Is anybody else even going to be in next week, in the business sense? We'll see, but whether or no I have to go it alone, it's going to be a high time for me to build insane amounts of pressure and momentum to unleash in the weeks following. In the New Year.

Okay. Break over. Back to pulling banker's boxers, sifting and shuffle-sorting each lovely pack of paper into the TOSS, RECYCLE or SHRED bin.

The shred bin's like...one of those big 30 gallon drums.

It's half full.

If your contract's in there, I'm sorry but I cannot apologize. Be comforted in my assurance that there's a very good reason for it."

Merry Christmas Eve Day

HEADING IN TO WORK
TO SERVE AS THE SKULL
OF THE SKELETON CREW
and away we go

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leaving Work Quote-Of-The-Day

"Well, that's it. Half my brain's fried, I think I better go fry the other half."

Inner Revelations #1

I am at peace in my own company.

Shit. When did that happen?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #17

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"Get ready to cry, bitches."


Previous questions remaining open (THERE FOR THE TAKING!):
Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #14

Scoring remains open until the first correct answer is posted! Full score for 1st correct answer, half score for all subsequent correct answers until close of scoring.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

splashsplashsplash

I never mind you skimming me
to find the places to delve deep
my surfaces are there for you
to skip across with sidearm toss
until your smooth flat stone finds cause
to slow its path, some eddy swirls
and fascinates with gravity -
I'll pull you in with something,
girl

That Secret Confidence, That No One Really Needs (Or Needed) To Know About

So I'm at work, I'm in the restroom at work - let's call a spade a spade, here: I was taking a shit. Ok? All the sudden I look down at my pants, pulled (and pooled) down around my ankles, and I tell you: the deep soft blue of my underpants, alongside their dark blue waistband, provided a beautiful color contrast to the deep field green of the denim of my jeans, and their lighter white-green inner lining.

I guess it's not really an inner lining. It's just the reverse side of the fabric. You know what I mean! With denim, how the color on the front is softened on the inside, with these white diagonal striations. If you're wearing jeans, pull your pants down, you'll totally get it.

Anyway, I saw this and I was just knocked out. Without even trying! It was a totally non-conscious choice, this morning. Non-conscious. Perhaps subconscious, perhaps merely unconscious. In fact, it may just be that this was my last clean pair of underwear. But regardless! When I saw how harmonious that was, I felt so beautifully-coordinated - and on a special, secret level. A level that no one else could or would be privy to! At least, not today or tonight.

Later I kind of got sad about that, but for a while I was walking around with a hidden secret confidence.

Now I better go check if I have underwear for tomorrow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Apple Pie Bed: by Lawrence Arabia



Okay I saw these guys opening for Crowded House a couple times earlier in the year, and one of the shows I picked up their CD. But I forgot I had done that, until I found it just yesterday or so.

Since then, it's been "Apple Pie Bed" on high rotation! A number of other songs on there, very nice. The album is Chant Darling.

What's going on in this video? Is this an attempt to comment on the usual objectification of scantily clad ladies jumping around in videos, via the inclusion of and juxtaposition with equally scantily clad men? Is it a slow-motion valentine to the beauty of the human form in all its forms in motion? Is it a bit of a prank of some kind?

Man, it's distracting me from the song. If it distracts you from the song, try watching it with the window minimized.

Thought of the day: wrong!

No one ever learned anything by winning an argument.

Are You My Online Friend Or My Real Friend? Pt. 2

To me the big thing to emphasize is: no matter what medium you know somebody through, there's a real person there. Whether that person is on the other end of a phone line, or typing away at the other end of an e-mail exchange (even a business e-mail exchange!), or did you see this whole Chatroulette thing? I didn't. I just heard the hot word a few months ago, and I'm trying to throw it in as an example. I think I got the context right, too! Apparently, what it is is, it's some thing where people take advantage of the randomness of new media to meet people by mistake, for reallly small periods of time. And apparently, the customary greeting is to display your genitalia!

If that ritual were adopted across-the-board, in all of our greetings, I bet we'd all be a lot less hung-up about stuff.

So yeah, that's Chatroulette in a nutshell. Pardon the tangent. I'm addicted to making the occasional trendy reference! Chatroulette. Oh wait, it looks like they're out of business.

Even better! Belated trendy reference. I'm leading the curve on geek trend nostalgia.

Point is, I got sidetracked: no matter how you may interact with someone - whether they're coming to you as a series of keyclicks and button-pushes, or as a voice on the line, or live via satellite, or standing right there in front of you - that's a real person there, and a real human head and heart in on that interaction. That person deserves your honesty. Don't jerk that person around.

But DO take care. Take care with the people you meet, no matter how you meet them. Be aware that some of the people you meet are going to turn out to be scumbags. Some people just are. Some of them will present a false front to get past your defenses, to rip you up or rip you off. Others will not share your fundamental idea of what it means to be decent to others - and eventually you will find they act accordingly. You don't need to pretend you know and trust everybody on earth, just to prove you've got some faith in humanity.

And while you do owe a person honesty - even a stranger, you owe them that much! - you don't owe anyone your time or your energy, over and above what you want to invest in that person. No person is owed a piece of you that you don't want to give.

That applies to everyone, no matter how you know them.

Are You My Online Friend Or My Real Friend?

Some people draw this big belabored distinction between "online friends" and those one has actually met in real life. I don't!

But the distinction's there, though. I just didn't draw it.

I mean, is it offensive to apply an accurate adjective to a person? It's a pretty straight process. It requires no really judgmental activity on one's part. Just a smidge of comprehension on what the term means, plus a simple observation: "hey, there's one now!" It's not like you forcibly forced it on there. It just applied.

I mean, would I say: "I divide my friends up, according to the terms that apply to them"? Probably not - that sounds stupid. But neither would I say: "these terms that apply...don't apply." That sounds stupid too, but worse than that - it would BE stupid.

Damn. This hasn't even really addressed the crux of the whole point I was going to try to make on the topic at all.

Looks like a job for Part 2.

Friday, December 17, 2010

They will worship me as A GOD

You know, they always say that in reference to primitive peoples. They say that if you show up with some technological dohickey, like a horse, they're supposedly going to "worship you as A GOD"

Isn't that just a little redundant? What the hell else are they going worship you as?

Nice Tie.

I don't mind a necktie that looks like modern art, as long as it is not modern art. I don't mind a design that hearkens back to or is suggestive of some work or theory that long ago pushed an envelope, broke a boundary, transgressed a taboo or blazed a trail through the dark of ancient days back when art mattered - some bold motif or technique that went on to found a school, inspire a style or create a movement that has since slowed, stilled, calcified and congealed into its own cold, mannered corpse of tradition.

In fact, I kind of like those ties! Those are fine.

Frankly, I can't even picture what sort of neckwear could genuinely provoke or transgress, in this day and age. From a standpoint of advancing art theory? I can't see it happening. The necktie has lost its ability to shock.

I'm thinking of switching to bowties.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ever Wonder What You'd Do If You Were a Moth? Well I Just Did. The Results May Be Intriguing.

I tell you, if I were a moth, when something startled me, I would not take off in a weaving criss-cross flutter flit, basically flickering through the same damn airspace back and forth - for all intents and purposes, executing a spaz hover pattern - hell no! I wouldn't be all, "oh, here I am! Flying around in your damn face for a while so you can draw a bead on me and then WHAM! clap your hands together smearing me into a splat of split wings and dusty little entrails across your palms! No way.

No.

As soon as I realized I was up in some big mammal's face-space, I would fold my wings in and drop, straight towards the ground, and then - barely four inches above the ground, say - I'd take off in a straight line as fast as my little moth wings could fly! Pick a direction any direction! If I hit your leg, fine, zip around and then straight off again! And not stop 'til I hit something I could hide behind. Sheesh.

Other moths would revere me. I'd be like a moth action movie superstar.

Except that would never work. Moth action movies. Action movies made to target the moth demographic. The movie screen and projection beams would be totally swamped with moths.

Gross.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #16

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"It can't be so bad - 'long as we can complain how bad it is!"


Previous questions remaining open (THERE FOR THE TAKING!):
Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #14

Scoring remains open until the first correct answer is posted! Full score for 1st correct answer, half score for all subsequent correct answers until close of scoring.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Business Tips #2: Professionalism in a Tense Negotiation with Morons

Do not make the confused Scooby-Doo noise during a conference call.

Banana Bread Pt.2: Doodeloo Pt.74!!

Banana Bread!!

I eat more banana bread than if it was going out of style! I eat banana bread like gangbusters eat banana bread, and let me tell you back in the days of prohibition those courageous, clandestine dudes in their insular little cells having to trust no one with their lives but each other used to consume ENORMOUS AMOUNTS of banana bread to fuel their righteous cause! I eat banana bread like a house on fire.

Banana bread and me are like two peas in a pod, very shortly to become one larger pea.

I eat banana bread like probably an ape would. Because I can't imagine that ape doesn't love bananas, or wouldn't recognize this supremely efficient improved delivery system for that banana-y goodness!

BANANA BREAD MAKES MY MOUTH WISH IT WAS MY STOMACH ALREADY! And my hands wish they were my mouth. And my eyes wish they were my hands.

Ooooooo, that banana bread.

This Video Is Almost Violently Awesome



Thanks as always to Alice at SkyBluePink

Frankly, I'm not even sure if thanks is the right word.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Doodeloo #73: Rebus Without A Cause

Wow. That Was Random.

So I was re-reading that last post, and I said to myself, "Wow."

"I think that's the most random, inexplicable post I've put up that wasn't an Open Dream Journal."

Reading it now, I honestly have no idea what that post is supposed to signify. Is it funny? Is there anything funny about it? What exactly am I trying to say - is there some sort of notorious rumor about Steven Seagal's personal life that I'm trying to play off of? I don't think there is. Dude's clean as far as I know!

I recall thinking for a moment that it would be hilarious if Seagal - who always plays such noble, unstoppable heroes - to show up in a movie where he instead plays some dude who is ragingly and unrepentantly a total dick. A total reprobate! But a reprobate who nevertheless still wins in the end, in a convincing and violent fashion, like Seagal almost always (rightfully) does.

It wouldn't be a spoof or anything. Just a totally misconceived concept! Isn't that funny? I thought it was funny. Maybe it's not funny.

Maybe I'm funny!

I was just like, picture this whole movie going through the whole process from soup to nuts, somebody comes up with the idea, it's written, and pitched, and greenlighted, and filmed, and released, and then people are just sitting in the theater - "WHAT THE...?"

But maybe it's not funny. Given that there really are way too many films that end up in the theater that do produce that reaction.

So anyway. Leave a comment in the comments saying what post of mine YOU think is the most random and inexplicable!

And if you're stumped, maybe just click the 'Random' button up at the top. A random post will come up! Maybe that post is the one.

Kickass Screenplay Idea #13: Death Vow Of Vengeance!

I don't normally write "for" a specific actor, but I can't help myself here. This would make a great Stephen Seagal movie. Stephen Seagal plays this guy who travels around the world, fathering bastards and abandoning them. And then one day, one of them grows up a little on the angry side, and swears a...

Death Vow Of Vengeance!

And then there's this big pursuit, where the kid is tracking him down across his global trail of bastards, and finally they meet and there's like some big climactic fight scene, and the kid comes in fighting hard, and then Seagal breaks his arm backwards and rips out his throat.

I think to add a little heft to the main character (Seagal), we could give him some sort of defect or flaw. Actors love that - it helps them sink their teeth into a meaty role! So I think what we could do is make him overweight. He could just be his normal self in the early scenes, set in the past, but then when they fast-forward 20 years or so to he present, he would suddenly be Stephen Seagal in a "fat suit."

This movie would RULE.

Can you imagine Ebert's reaction on this thing?

I just want to write the screenplay, publish it on line, see what happens.

See if there's any interest.

Hm. I think I'm just going to go ahead and call the main character "Stephen Seagal" (as a hint to his agent). No sense beating around the bush!

WAIT

no.

I'll spell it "Steven."

Just as a precaution. We don't want any lawsuits.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quote of Last Night, That Went on Perhaps a Bit Too Long

"If music be the food of love, play on said Shakespeare. Well I say, if food be the music of love, FEED ME!

And...if love be the food of music, then...

'Hey, baby.'"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't Tell Me Santa's Doing All He Can

Santa Claus puts his powers to bullshit use if you ask me!

Look. Now, look: I know. The world needs joy. It does. The world needs childlike wonder, on Christmas morning with the soft glow of colored lights blinking, and the tinkling of sleigh bells and the sweet sounds of carolers singing. We need that, we need it in our soul - more than a lot of us are willing to admit, or credit.

But the dude works one day a year. Elves do the rest!

And every other day plus, you have these evil-doers, these terrorists, plotting their plots, and executing their executions - and Santa knows they're naughty!

He knows it.

And he knows where they live!

All it would take, once or two times a month, just to take that faster-than-lightspeed sleigh out for a spin, a couple laps around the world, stop here, stop there dropping bombs down chimneys. Bombs down chimneys! The problem would be taken care of. X off the naughty list, one by one. Take out the masterminds, the moneybags, the ones who are the problem. Who exploit the discontent of others, and channel it into their own campaign for power to drive hate. And the next month, another sweep for anyone new foolish enough to jump into the leadership breach! Reduce the frequency of trips as needed. It would not take long. It would be easy. Much less strenuous than his regular gig.

The United States can't do the job. We don't have that kind of precision equipment, but Santa does. And the use that he puts it to is absurd!!

Look, don't anybody tell me he can't get you, if there's no chimney. He's Santa Claus. The dude has ways. And laying a finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, he'd be up in your living room with a Kalashnikov. He knows exactly where you are, and what you've been doing. He sees you when you're sleeping. A job like this, for him - child's play.

In fact, I'll be honest, I'm a bit nervous going public with this criticism on him, but dammit Santa: YOU KNOW the world needs more from you than this. Look around you! World needs help. You're in the position to do it. We don't all get to live in an elf-secured impregnable military compound, sitting on our fat ass ho-ho-ho'ing and gathering accolades while people who you could easily stop cold hold us all in thrall to fear.

Think about it, Santa. Think about what you could give the world - for New Years, maybe.

How about Peace On Earth, to them of Good Will?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

15 More Shopping Days!

I can't stay too long in department stores. Browsing the aisles for clothing. Wandering the rows. I start to have these disturbing flashes, hyperawareness. False awareness. I will sense hovering presences, a person suddenly looming to my side who isn't there. A figure crouching in an awkward pose, at my elbow, just past peripheral. And I feel, I know that if I turn, I will see - a mockery. Decapitated, headless. Or else - a nightmare face. Skin of an impossibly neutral color but with no face - with an utterly blank, featureless face. Eyeless, mouthless - contours and angles. Disturbing apparitions from out of a drugged nightmare.

I have to get the hell out of there.

I Tell You, That Roger Waters "The Wall" Tour -

- that dude does a good job on that! He's a competent professional. And he knows how to enlist the right help! He has top-notch people putting that thing together, projecting eye-boggling shit all over it, and knocking it down.

A crack band of musicians.

Several grisly, gigantic-scale marionettes.

His voice sounded really good, too! I was never too taken with him, as a vocalist. He impressed me tonight.

What a fucking gentleman, too! Very sincere-seeming, very urbane in a jaded way.

You know, when I was a kid I always thought The Wall was fucking depressing. You know? As an album? I'd listen to it anyway! That was what it was for, kind of.

But tonight, that same suite of music, just as forceful in all the negative things it has to say, but somehow - it filled me with hope. Part of that was some of the things Waters himself had to say. How he was to put it briefly, in a much better space now than back then, head-wise. But it just gives me a jolt of hope, to suddenly realize that no matter what pit of paranoia and despair you slide into, no matter how horrible your world and your self and your life can get, in a moment that crushed you so hard you didn't think you wanted it anymore, wanted life...so much can change. Thirty years down the road, maybe, you find yourself in a place of belief in the world, maybe even peace in yourself, with thousands of people cheering you on and millions of dollars in the bank.

It's kind of a hopeful story, isn't it, really? The Wall. When you think about it.

Anyway, Roger seemed happy.

You go, Mr. Waters. You fucking deserved every bit of it, tonight. I hope every night for the rest of the tour goes just as well!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #15

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"Man, these people are cheap. This wedding-buffet cold cut spread came from the same baked ham they served at dad's wake!"



Previous questions remaining open (THERE FOR THE TAKING!):
Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #14

Scoring remains open until the first correct answer is posted! Full score for 1st correct answer, half score for all subsequent correct answers until close of scoring.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Q. So I've finished my first book. What do I do now?

A. It depends. If you're a writer, stick it in a drawer, and start working on your second book. That one will be even better.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Note On Respecting Personal Comfort:

A person who can't take "maybe sometime" for an answer

will get "never."

The Dangers of Speaking Just That Much Too Precisely

"Okay. No, I understand what the issue is; it's understandable. You're going to have to give me a couple days on this. I'm going to see what I can come up with to void your concern."

Another Big Reversal at Work

I was happy because I bought a healthy thing of raw vegetables - carrots, cucumber slices, celery, olives, sweet, tart "grape tomatoes" - to eat before lunch, at work. Then when I went to open the container, it flew from my hands. All the good stuff landed on the floor. All my tomatoes and olives, and almost all the cucumber! The container landed on the floor, flap-open, bottom-down with the rest of the vegetables still in it. I was left with one lone cuke slice, a bunch of carrots, and celery.

I stood there in my office, looking at it.

I bent down and wiped everything together into a pile. Then I scooped it up with my hands, and carried the double-handful of desecrated crudites to the kitchen area, not knowing the whole way there whether I was planning to wash it all off in the sink, or toss it as garbage through the spring-loaded red plastic flap of the big, domed trash can.

Disgusted, I tossed the whole load. My healthy snack, ruined. Then I went outside to the catering truck (aka, the "roach coach") and got a BLT.

It was the most delicious BLT in the world.

Fuck vegetables anyway.

Open Dream Journal #80: Terrible Dream. Horrible Dream!

This one was terrible, and it kept going on and on. I hated it. It was like the plot of some bad movie.


the Incipiency

I'm just waking up.

I'm groggy as hell.

I had a horrible dream. It was so vivid, and it went on for hours and kept getting derailed, but then circling back to the main plot point where I had been invested by benevolent aliens with the power to safeguard our planet from the Incipiency (don't ask), but the upshot of it all was that because I had been singled out for this, everyone totally questioned my motives and allegiances and hated me. Everyone on the planet hated me! It sucked. I mean everybody. Family. People I thought loved me. Hated me!

There were even like, multilateral global government plots out to kill me. Get me out of the way. I was like, what the hell! Don't kill me! I didn't ask for this. Go figure out how to attack the aliens or something. This was their idea. Don't kill the damn messenger all right? What do you want - would you rather have the Incipiency to deal with?

Because let me tell you: I don't think you would, alright?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Where do nudists clip their iPods?

That clippy's pretty pinchy!

My Next Video Will Be Nothing Like My Ex Video

You know, the story told in subtitle in this video highlights a real fucking tragedy here. I love this song, and it ought to have a real video, but instead we get this bs stew of sham violence, sexual objectification, and dinosaur puppetry put together by a crass record company as an unspectacularly failed stunt!

Well. I still love the song.

Anyway, if you get sick of being pandered to in the above cynical clip, I got the antidote for you - a straight shot of thick, rich, stiff-whipped integrity! - "Thickfreakness", vintage live tv 'Keys from the C.O'B show back in the day! Conan, pre his adventures-in-Tonight-Show-misadventures debacle? Black Keys, pre-dinosaur puppet? That's integrity times two.


The Black Keys -Thickfreaknes - Live Conan O Brian
Uploaded by theleftieslive. - Watch more music videos, in HD!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Thought of the Day: Philosophical

I got a D in Philosophy once. I had to be philosophical about it.

I guess I should have tried that earlier.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Poetry Update. With a Surprise Announcement!

Wow. Take a look at those last 3 poems. "forward", "flexible plans", "the memory of demons"...and that hangover one, a little further down the page ("wine half-hangover beautiful")? Shoot. Anybody who didn't know me better would think I was hitting my stride.

So, those of you who have been keeping up with my poem-a-day-on-average poetry blog, A Pocketful of Poesy, will have noted what a fucking breeze it was for me this year to keep pace. As opposed to last year's Q1 lag, followed by Q2-3 gathering stride, followed by early Q4 panicked realization and furious mad rush to excellence and triumph aka, "The Drive For 365." Well, nail-biting suspense is fun sometimes, I guess! And those mad-rush poems, particularly those from last November's epic and now-legendary "FORTY-POEM NIGHT" (check for yourself if you don't believe me, pal! November 2009 Archive), stand proudly amongst my best efforts in that line. But as much as I may thrive under pressure, I must now say how satisfying it has been this year, to simply set a stately pace and enjoy the fruits that fall to hand as I stroll. We knew that I could kick enormous portions of ass when the whole bag of jacks was on the line, under the Gun of Damocles (to update a mossy old Classics allusion). We knew that I could thrive, juke and jive when my back was up against the wall, cigaretted and blindfold on, stalling for the reprieve. We all knew that! Shit. We either knew it or we were stupid. Who doubts me in desperate circumstances?!

But this year, my performance just goes to prove that I can also be reliable without a crisis to prod me with a good kick in my poetic "balls" so to speak. I'm real pleased to be able to see me come through like this, out of a pinch, on this more laid-back level. Very pleased.

And so I think the time has come for me to say a few words to my fellow poets, out there. Poets of ink and page, or poets of the internet. Poets of the soul! Poets of the heart and mind. So many of you have been bringing me such encouragement - whether by the kind comments you leave, or by the output you put out yourself, which so often seizes by the collar, jerks tears, provokes thought, delights, teases and/or inspires, even as it tickles fancily in the general vicinity of my muse-bone. So to all of you poets out there, to whom I am so grateful for the inspiration you provide even as you challenge me to raise my own level! - I want to say:

Boo yah.

In your FACE.

Because have you SEEN these poems of mine lately??!! You think you can HANG WITH THAT? Do you seriously think you can hang? You think you got rhymes like mine? Your rhymes are not like mine. Some of my rhymes do not even rhyme, and you've STILL not got rhymes like my non-rhymed rhymes. I gots more styles than a model's got smiles. Any other suckas who step to this, they'll be paddling down a river called denial! Without any decent oars. They're like, using their hands. And my rhymes are like the piranhas! Nipping at your tips as you dip your fingers in gingerly to those deceptively smooth yet perilous waters. Point being: Do you seriously think you can hang? Point being: because if you DO think you can hang, what would you be willing to do to PROVE it? Would you be willing to BRING IT?

Point being, this: is a throwdown.

As they used to so say back in the day, "Sucka emcees...!" - and that phrase would be followed by a dismissive or derogatory remark! Now, I'm not going to take it to that insulting level, but I am here to announce that in 2011, get ready. I am bringing a similar ethos to the realm of the purely poetic. I think you'll find your rhymes are not like mine. But you'll have every chance to bring your own and show you're grown. To come strut and stutter and flow, to flip the rythmic of the static word, to deliver to us all the knowledge and sooth to the point of hundred-proof truth, to let us see and know that what you got is no goof. That's the overview. A venue for all poets to come together, and show it how they know they can throw it. Now here's how it's going to unfold:

Wait. You know what? Let me just throw that out there as a warm-up, and leave it at that. Details to follow. Specifics, to follow.

When the call comes, get ready. It's going to be an invitation to all poet comers and up-and-comers, ballers, players, even poet-haters if they can bring the verse that makes you so mad it's like bad to worse when they take your style down a peg or two! Can you take it? If you can't take it, don't bring it...! But if you CAN take it -

Well, brace yourself then, because soon it won't be 2010, and in 2011, I'm about to provide the venue. Internet poetry is an art form, as we know. Now what I want to know is, who out there is ready to take it up and break it down at the level of a head-to-head maestro showcase.

Guess who for starters?

That's right. This guy right here.

Feel free to holler a bit in the comments, if you think you might be interested.

A Fairy Tale Pt.2: "The Tale Of The Lad Who Wasn't Merry, And Who Met A Girl To Prove His Love Upon, And Was Tasked With A Quest, And Fought A Giant, And Died; His Name Was Billtholomew (Pt.2)."

This post is part 2 of a 2-part series. There was also a part 1.

The giant crushed him into a sudden crater with one lazy arc of his downward-crashing full-grown-oak-sized oaken cudgel.

Undaunted, Billtholomew died instantly.


...

Um.

Actually, if you haven't already, you might want to go back and read the first part, for a little backstory on what just happened.

I've been thinking about trying to tie up some loose ends on some of my fiction fridays that I've left hanging! This was a pretty cute story, one that (I think) deserved a conclusion.

This is about the coolest saddest thing I've ever seen.

Thanks to Alice at http://www.skyblue-pink.com/ for drawing my attention to this! Alice has always got something interesting for you.



I wish this really was a video game. I would play it and play it and get better and better, just to give this poor dude a better day.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sour Cream is the King of Condiments, Yo.

Have I said that before? I think I have. Well whether I did or I didn't, it's just as true today as it was then. And if you want to claim I didn't say so before, well all I can say is don't say the same thing tomorrow because we'll all know you're a liar.

Sour cream, yo. King of Condiments. And to make my meaning plain, I don't mean that like Budweiser is the King of Beers. I mean it like a lion is the king of the beasts, I mean it like Godzilla is King of the Monsters. Albeit, in the case of monsters who are also beasts, I can see where there might be a jurisdiction squabble there.

I expect the lion has the sense to back down from that one. Cats are pragmatic.

Yet Another Reason to Say: "SCREW THE METRIC SYSTEM"

For your consideration:

"The legal process to change the definition of the kilogram is already underway,[23] ..."

- Wikipedia.

This is not a joke. Not a hoax. That comes straight from Wikipedia, from one of the pages contained in Wikipedia today, as of this writing, in a context that leads me to believe that someone typed it in there fully expecting us to accept the truth of it!

Don't these fools realize the implications of such a change? Not only would the kilogram be affected! But the gram as well. And the milligram! - and the centigram! Though indeed, who really cares on that last one? Centigrams are rarely seen in nature, being highly unstable and prone to decaying into milligrams outside of very specific, controlled laboratory conditions.

But the point is that if this change goes through, the whole integrity and credibility of the metric system is shot. These people, so desirous of making this so-called "improvement" (though who has even called it that, I'd like to know!?) to the kilogram are in fact doing nothing but proving that even the most elementary units of measurability must be considered to be subordinate to law. Who can swallow this preposterous notion! Science must bow to law? This is a tyranny intolerable! To claim that the fundamentals by which the very stars themselves are measured and governed in their smooth paces around the cosmic block are subject to being overruled - overturned and redefined according to the whim and whimsy of our puny, human courts! What a preposterous fraud we perpetrate upon the very foundations of the galaxy, if this change goes through!

I call upon all those who uphold REASON and SCIENCE as paramount over "legal process" - I call upon you all! I call upon you now! Rise up! Rise now while we still have the chance! The General Conference on Weights and Measures will be convening in 2011, to discuss this and other weighty matters. Rise up now! Arise, and make some very unambiguous objection to these pedants (literally, "they who stride with the feet of ants") and sophisters (not a word, but easy enough to glean meaning from context) who would put the folly and pageantry of human law above the eternal and sacred definition of the kilogram that was handed down to us from on high, encoded in the provable observations of the stars themselves in their very courses! Or if that wasn't it, then - the true and proven kilogram, as it has been formed and validated down throughout the ages via evolution by means of natural selection! Either way, this is science business! Once we let law have its way here, the precedent will be set. And I assure you: once law gets its fingers in with a precedent, you have no idea how smug that bastard's going to be about applying it everywhere. Science will just have to bow down and take it. We will have lost our chance, and we will have to admit law's supremacy in all matters scientific.

I don't need to belabor the horrors that could result! Why, the very stars themselves could be undone in their sure courses, by the misguided passage of some pork-chocked special-interest bill into law! We'd need to put Gravity into the Constitution as an Amendment, just to safeguard it against being repealed as a law - lest we all float away!

Human law has proven again and again that it cannot be trusted with science. To protect the meaning and integrity of the kilogram is our first stand in the coming battle – but if we fail to hold fast now, there may be no chance for a second stand. To quote Captain Jean Luc Picard, "The line must be drawn HEAH!"

KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF OUR KILOS.

Wait. That sounds like we're running drugs. Unfortunate choice of words, but anyway. It's clear enough from context.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

There Is a Reason

Look, I just want to say. There's a reason I attack opinions and cultural attitudes that actively hinder and harm those who embrace them, while providing no discernable benefit. There's a reason I jump in when I see people making unsupported arguments that don't prove what they say they prove. There's a reason I leap to the defense of logic when I see it abused to no good cause.

It's 'cause I'm a DICK.

Guess the Shakespeare Update!

So! That's been a pretty good run for you folks out there. Keep it up! Awesome work, nary a week gone by unsolved.

Key word: "nary." The most recent Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob remains as-of-this-writing unanswered! No correct answer has been submitted yet. As the rules state, that means the question remains open for scoring! Until a correct answer has been posted to the comments queue, you can always score. Even if nobody answers it for two weeks and then five people suddenly get it in in the space of an hour - until I post that answer, you get credit (full credit for first correct answer, half for subsequent answers 'til scoring closes).

I actually expected this to happen earlier. I figured, some of these are hard, right? Shakespeare! I haven't deliberately tried to make any of them harder than others. I mean, I'm not really a big Shakespeare buff (that's more Rob's deal), but I think questions like these should be fun, and it can't be that fun if it turns into a big stump-o-rama. Still, I did kind of expect a few to go unguessed, and I put some thought into it and realized that it's actually not a bad thing at all. In fact, it adds a potentially exciting wrinkle.

What I'm going to do each Wednesday is this: the new question will also include a link to any unanswered questions. And that creates the potentially-exciting wrinkle! Because normally, there's only the possibility of a one-point swing in the standings, at most. But once there are a few extra questions hovering open, suddenly the potential exists for anyone determined enough to pull it off to make a stunning run at the charts.

So yeah! Close-eyed viewers will note this does not in any way constitute a rules change, or anything. I switched the rules for scoring in the middle of the last Wednesday Question series, and I think it pissed some people off, so now I try to keep it steady-as-she-goes during a given contest. This is no change to the rules, it's just a looming implication of the rules as they always have been - a thing that never got a chance to come into play before.

Because you guys are too good! That's why.

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #14

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"A problem's easy unless it's yours."



Question remains open. Scoring is open until the first correct answer is posted (SCORING RULES - no credit for partials!). Full score for 1st correct answer, half score for all subsequent correct answers until close of scoring!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Bullshit Keys to Self-Esteem #3

Last time, we talked about the importance of confusing people in a good way, about what it is you do for a living - by instead of telling people what your actual job is, come up with a creative way to describe your duties that will still be "technically accurate," while sounding more impressive. You're not a "waiter" - you're a Prepared Food Salesman. You're not a "customer service rep." You're a Client Satisfaction Engineer. Or go the other way, punch it up hip and style-y! If you actually are an engineer - you're a Make-It-Happen Czar. That's what engineers do, right? They make it happen!

Actually, you know what? "Make-It-Happen Czar" sucks. Don't use that one, but you get the idea: you're not a "marketing strategist," you're a - wait.

Shoot.

"Marketing Strategist" is already perfect. That's exactly the tone we're trying to strike! Sounds great. It sounds like you're the general, marshaling the massed armies of marketing. What the hell do you do in that job? What does that entail?

Are there any openings?

I like to take a phrase that has been corrupted by sarcasm, and redeem it by the sheer force of my sincerity.

NICE ATTITUDE.

Another Sunday Theology God Blog Post! This Post Contains Absolutely No Reason for Any Intelligent Atheist to Change His or Her Mind on That Issue.

I used to joke that citing names instead of stating arguments was the logician / philosopher's equivalent of dogmatic biblical literalism. "It is true on a higher authority than yours. I can't explain why - its truth rests on the authority of this name (or Name)."

Of course, that applies only in cases where the one doing the citing couldn't put the argument across based on their own understanding of it. In your case, I feel confident that you do have the points square, and could easily explain why. Your referral to well-known arguments of others is purely for the sake of brevity and convenience, and to avoid belaboring us with the specifics of arguments you'd expect us to already know. All of which is a good thing! A time-saver.

And in that spirit, I'll save the space & trouble of recapitulating the arguments you cite, and go directly to addressing them. Look closely: they are circular. Each of these arguments is based purely on one kind or another of an out-of-hand rejection of the theistic premise - rejection of the premise, without providing any sort of refutation of it.

Take suffering. The claim is that it is gratuitous? From the theistic perspective, I run it thus:

Given Physics and Free Will, suffering is the unavoidable consequence of mortality.

Within the theistic standpoint: we must have mortality, in order for God to gather us in. This world is not the self's final home, but is rather the place where we form who we are to be - through our own choices, as we navigate our given circumstances.

Further, to create a self freely, without the coercive presence of a God who we are not free to accept or deny, we must have a natural world (one wherein the hand of God is not coercively present).

To have a natural world requires that the observable universe be built on discoverable natural principles ("laws") that have fairly consistent applicability. Such laws cannot swerve to avoid hitting babies and old people.

Mortality itself requires pain, purely as a survival mechanism. Organisms that are mortal need the ability to sense damage.

And sadly, one consequence of free will is that some will choose evil - choosing deliberately to harm others.

But we're far better off with all of that, than without it.


Because: take it a step farther. If we are sincerely exploring the theistic premise from within, to demonstrate some logical conflict within it, then we must concede that an omnipotent God can do anything. Therefore, an omnipotent God can heal all damage in an instant. Pain, psychological, any and all damage no matter how severe: soothed and gone in an instant, leaving only a self built on the full memory of all experiences and choices made during life - in present and eternal bliss, with all pain wiped away, no damage, no scars. This self is the goal and the end result, within the theistic premise - the self is what God wants to gather back in (a gift freely given back, not coerced).

Since we can't dispute that an omnipotent God is capable of healing all damage, if we persist in calling God cruel for allowing suffering, we must be able to show that suffering is gratuitous. We must be able to at least suggest how the same ends could be achieved in a world without the possibility of suffering. Can we suggest a model for a natural world that would avoid suffering?

"But God is omnipotent!" - runs the protest: "God can do anything! God can create a world without suffering, even if I cannot conceive how."

Yes, certainly God can create a world without suffering - by voiding logic, free will, and physics. By creating an irrational world, where effects do not proceed from causes and where no universal, discoverable laws obtain. Or even in a world with natural laws, God could reduce suffering by creating an enslaved world, where no free actions are possible *except* for those actions God wills as "good."

A world along those lines is a far worse world than ours is. Far pettier, and crucially: far more cruel. God would be cruel indeed to take this wonder we have from us, and saddle us with a world like that. A world that would infinitely proscribe and diminish our chance to grow, thrive, feel, and become.

Those who pretend to demand that God give us a world without suffering are acting as petulant children, who want our majestic universe of infinite possibility to be exchanged for a padded playpen devoid of grandeur and risk and achievement, devoid of the possibility of advancement for the human race. But they're not children, not really. They are only pretending to be. I say "acting as" and "pretend to demand," because their demand is in no way sincere. Since they don't believe God exists, they have no real worry of having to live in the horrid, shallow, cramped world that would be the consequence of their pretend demand, if it were fulfilled.

Personally, I do believe God exists. And I know God can create a world without physics and free will, and with no suffering. A universe that functions as a stifling security blanket; our wills and actions constrained by safety belts for our "own good." But you know what? I'll take the bracing thrill. I'll take the infinite sprawl of possibility, that stretches out and breathes steam into the grandeur of this cold, rational reality that is ours to inhabit, to explore, and to make our own. I'll take the wonder of whether and why. I'll take that instead. Thanks!

But! Final desperate and outraged protest! How can any amount of fulfillment, prospective thrill or achievement be worth the [ insert breathlessly horrific laundry list description of things that happen every day ]? Well, rephrase the question yourself. Finish the question. How can WHAT be worth it? Can you really be asking: is it worth suffering and the risk of suffering, for all of us to be able to live in THIS, THE REAL WORLD? Well, I say to you fuck yes. Yes, it is! And if you say you think otherwise, well why haven't you killed yourself, then? Could it be that you're a hypocrite? Ask yourself whether it's worth the risk of suffering, to be alive in this world and to have this world to live in. Is it worth it or isn't it?

For me, I'd say yes, it is fucking-A worth it, to be alive, and to have this world to live in. It would be worth it if God doesn't exist. I'd say that to put it mildly, it's at least as worth it, if God does.

So if you state "God does not exist" - well, there's no burden of proof on you, to prove a negative! If I wished to attack your premise, the burden of proof would be on me. Just as: if you wish to attack the premise "God does exist," the burden falls on you to demonstrate either conflict between the proposition and observable reality, or a violation of internal logic within the proposition's tenets. And best of luck to you, with that - I want to see!

The fact is, I'm fine with the atheist premise. The real universe, as typically viewed by an atheist, is a place of spectacular wonder and beauty - well worth living in. I live in that universe myself, I just happen to thank God for it. But the atheist's premise: "There is no God" - cannot be demonstrated to conflict with observable reality, any more than the premise "There is a God" can. I find the atheist's premise persuasive, natural, easy to believe in, and very comforting. I just don't buy it.

But that's the point. Not buying something is not a refutation.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quote for Tomorrow: as Delivered Yesterday in an Impromptu Address to those Assembled in the Company Lunch Room

"You know what - no matter what politics or religion you espouse, no matter what nation you're living in or what nation you're from, for one day a year at least out of life, people of good will ought to set aside a time to step back, open their eyes and say: 'God damn it! - this is one hell of a world. This is an overwhelmingly deep well of a world we have to live our lives in, here. And as we work our way through these lives, the potential we find for good, for bad, for pain, for love, for wonder and amazement all unrolls into a beautiful tangle of incredible depth, breadth, and sweetness. We should take a moment to have humility, given the enormous scope of what we find laid out here before us. We should take a moment to have gratitude, for our chance to take this world for what it is, and to make of it the best we can. This is Thanksgiving.'"

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #13

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

NOTE: Scoring will remain open on this week's quote for at least 24 hours. As long as no answer has been posted, scoring remains open!

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"A lot of the time what you think's going to happen, doesn't. Especially when you're sure! But then some crazy shit you would have never thought was going to happen...BAM! Does."


Thought of the Day: Just a Little Bit!

Don't underestimate the importance of overestimating the importance of things that are a maybe just a little bit more important than you'd think they are.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Faith, and the Unseen

I'm a big believer in the unseen. Pretty much, everything above, and everything behind my head. I can't see it, but I know it's there.

Sure, I could look straight up, or turn around entirely - but then I couldn't see what was right in front of me! Or at least, what had been right in front of me. Is that a sensible approach? I leave such circular reasoning to the skeptics and sophists. I have no need to "prove" the existence of the unseen.

It's there. I simply know that it is. That's all there is to it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ordinarily, I Hate This Sort of Thing,

...but this is sheer magical. 'ness.



God bless you, Kurt Cobain, for inadvertently laying the groundwork to make something like this possible!

I'm Changing My Reactions (from Odd to Strange)

This is more in the line of an announcement. At the bottom of each post are some

REACTIONS: hard ( ) hurt ( ) odd ( ) fine ( ) sharp ( )

I explained a little about that here.

I'll cut to the chase. 'Odd' is out. I'm changing 'odd' to 'strange.' I never liked 'odd.'

Frankly, every time one of you people clicked 'odd' on one of my posts, it pissed me off. I know! I know, I'm sorry, I'm the one who put it there. I know I have no legitimate beefus. This one's all on me. I gave you the option to piss me off. I didn't force you to, true, but I put the option out there. So since the option was abused, I'm removing it. I'm removing 'odd' and replacing it with 'strange.' This change is just the best compromise solution.

Now, I when I do make the change, one of two things could happen. It may be that when I make the change, all the 'odd' clicks won't carry over. Those clicks may translate straight to strange, or they may be lost for all time.

And if either of those outcomes is the case, well, I'm sorry in different ways. If the clicks transfer over to 'strange' - it will be like I'm changing what you said! You didn't say "strange." You said "odd." Bastards. But on the other hand, if the clicks vanish - if that happens, then I've stifled your voice. Those of you 'odd'-clicking COWARDS. But you know what? If you want my RESPECT for your voice? Why don't you come put in a one-word comment in, tell me my post is "Odd." !

See, see the effect this has? Again, my apologies for the clear overreaction, here. I really do think this change is for the best. For my own sake and for yours, I really just had to bite the bullet on this one. I just don't care for someone click-calling one of my posts 'odd' and then running away. It's like some kid running up, knocking at or dinging the door-bell (perhaps yelling "ODD!") and then tear-assing out of there, only in this case the door-bell itself is rigged up so that instead of a happy "ding-dong!" chime or a knock (redolent of opportunity, perhaps), the sound of this so-called "doorbell" is a loud, ringing: "ODD."

'Strange' I can get with. 'Strange' sounds adventurous. Bordering on eldritch or uncanny.

OOOOH. I SHOULD PUT 'UNCANNY'!

But no, no, nope no wait. No. I'm going to go with 'strange.' It is a pretty neutral synonym, the clearest and nearest to 'odd' that I can think of, and the word itself has a ring I like instead of a ring I detest. 'Strange' is a fair exchange. It can be used the same way 'odd' can, for people who are trying to say: "WEIRD, dude." Whereas if I went with 'uncanny', I'm kind of forcing peoples' hand a bit: "Hey, why not click this button to tell me how extraordinarily striking and mysterious I am." Too much editorializing there, with 'uncanny'.

Funny how big a difference it makes, which of a pair of near synonyms you pick! Strange.

Odd.

Peculiar, even.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Some say a stranger came, dealing death before the end...Pt.8

The stranger Lido was laid out nearly flat, his head pressed at a hard angle against the dent it had made in the rotting wood of the deserted bank's back wall. He stared crazily ahead, his normally narrow squint eyes huge and white with unaccustomed shock. His slack mouth puckered, and half-spat a wash of blood onto the front of his own clean, white shirt.

Focus returned to his eyes. "I don't want to have to kill you, Rose Althea."

Rose Althea held one of the stranger's own six-guns out dead level at arm's length. The dull gray barrel's pitiless pitch-black eye was locked in a staring contest with the stranger's watery left eye.

Rose Althea's legs were trembling in a wide stance. Her wet torso shook with ragged, gasping sobs. Her lovely head swayed, eyes fixed forward, one black lock of long hair matted to a sweat- and tear-streaked cheek; her long, pale neck a tower listing on its unsteady foundation of bare shoulders. Somehow, her long right arm held out shock straight: as white, smooth and immobile as the stony, accusing finger of a carved giant's marble hand.

"You're not going to have to," Rose Althea began. "Because..." her voice caught. The stranger's eyes had strayed upwards by millimiters to find Rose Althea's gaze. All the shock had gone out of them. All the accustomed hard, mean squint had gone as well. Rose Althea felt she was looking at a man she'd never known before. A man she wished she could have had a chance to meet.

The trigger pulled all the way back, dragging her finger with it.

I just had an "a-ha" moment! And then whatever it was slipped my mind again, driven out by this irrelevant thought:

Say, I wonder if you go to an A-ha concert, is it chock full of such moments?

THIS Is My Favorite Pink Floyd Song.



"Shine On You Crazy Diamond."

Not "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt. IV" from Wish You Were Here. Not even "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pts. I-V", from Wish You Were Here - no, nor "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pts. VI-IX" from Wish You Were Here, neither. Though by your smiling you seem to say so.

Not even "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pts. I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VII and IX" considered together as a whole! No. Those songs pretty much all - I don't want to put it delicately here, but every single one of those songs stinks. You might as well light up a big, stanky bowl of marijuana hash pot, for all the good it'll do you at that point.

No, sir. My favorite Pink Floyd song is "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." From A Collection of Great Dance Songs. The original, and still the best - or rather, to paraphrase: not the original, but still the best. And I do mean by far.

It sucks how bad those other songs suck, compared to how great a song some of them could have been. Thank God somebody at the record company butted in and took care of business.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Infamy! At A Pool Hall #9

Infamy at a Pool Hall is a recurring feature that periodically spotlights the myriad vile and contemptible slurs, japes and other utterances heard at the pool hall during our regular Thursday night sessions. Shameful to admit, these are not infamies overheard from other tables! - presumably voiced by lowlifes, who have no better excuse for how to act - but rather, they are remarks spoken loud and aloud exclusively by mouths from among our own regular group of fellows, all of whom to look at you would ordinarily assume would have a little more fucking class than that. The twin demons of pool and beer weave a sad web that ensnares even the most upright knights of morality it seems, in this, the ninth in an increasingly appalling series of installments of: Infamy at a Pool Hall.


"Hey, why's my beer got an orange slice garnish and yours doesn't?" "So I can tell 'em apart."


"Two off the five - left corner."


"Mother fussy-fuss!"


"Man..." "Yeah, I know." "How come her ass looks like that?" "Go ask her." "Nah, she'd take it wrong." "Man, where do you get off judging a complete stranger at a glance like that? How do you know she'd take it wrong?" "You know what? You're right, that's very bullshit of me. I'm going to go ask her." "Do it."


"Nice shot." "I made it look easy, too!" "You made it look like a complete asshole could have done it."


"Oh come on, how the mother of butter-lovin' sons did I miss that shot."


"Now that's not to say that I wouldn't, if she asked nicely!" "See, that's a perfect illustration of why a double-negative is not an automatic grammatical foul. Now it's true, a double-negative that creates either redundancy or unintended self-contradiction is a foul! True enough. But the sin is not the double-negative. The sin is the redundancy or the self-contradiction. Because - take what you have said, there. To substitute 'that is to say that I would, if she asked nicely' - that would not be at all the 'correct' equivalent! It would mean something completely different." "Yeah! In this case, the double-negative is essential to convey the nuance." "Fuckin' A."


"Are you stripes or solids?" "Do I look like I'm stripes or solids?"


"Man, that was a great shot on the eight. I love to see such an incredible comeback. See how happy and smiling I am for you?" "Yes, you look happy." "I know I do! And just wait until after this next game, when it's sincere!"


"Holy Motherly Comfort!"


"We should have got Newcastle Brown Ale, man." "Yeah, it's pretty good." "I want to move to England and open up a pub." "Do you have a name for it yet?" "Nope." "How about, 'Her Majesty's Cunt'?"


"That was pretty sharp. But it wasn't too smart." "Oh yeah? What shot would you have taken?" "One that wouldn't have pissed me off."


"I love my mother. That's why I talk about her so much."


"No, I don't even know her! She just turned to regard me while I was waiting for the beers, and so I look at her and smile, friendly-like -" "Like you are." "- like I am, and out of nowhere she goes, 'hey man, I think you're hot.'" "No she did not. She's pretty cute, man! - what did you say back?" "Well, I paused. And I took a step aback regarding her with that head-cocked-to-the-side quizzical kind of imperceptible narrowing of one eye that I do, and then I said, 'I think you're thinking of somebody else.'"


"Mother McBastard!!"


"If you miss this shot, then you're just a pussy." "You're confusing cause and effect."

Attention iPod Users:

Could you possibly go deaf listening to less-shitty music?

Why I Still Disagree with the Decision to Reclassify Pluto. (alphabetized by sentence)

And as a definition, it was pretty well botched even at that! As to merit. But mistake me not: I do understand the gut appeal. Except for that pipsqueak Mercury!

If you believe in the validity of your point, then to circumvent the process and conventions of consensus even within the little traditions and stipulations that govern your own lil' non-binding club - to pull so bold and peremptory a backdoor maneuver over what you say is just plain fact - well, that's just stupid.

It would have been more accurate and more honest (hell, more scientific!) if they had simply revised the definition of "planet" by taking the old definition, and tacking "(excluding Pluto)" on the end of it. It's too clear that it was drafted for the express purpose - an axe-to-grind purpose: to exclude Pluto. Nothing like a little cloak and dagger controversy to perk up a dry topic! That bitch is next on the list.

That is, if you're sincere about science, then it's stupid.

The fact that the majority of those seeking to reinstate Pluto appear to be going primarily on sentiment for tradition doesn't change the fact that this definition is a poor fit for the existing planets. The strong need some astronomers feel to reclassify Pluto makes sense, even if the definition adopted to serve that end does not. The way the motion was snuck through was needlessly divisive. The way this was carried out was a breach of professional respect and a strategic blunder (at least from the standpoint of respectability within the scientific community). This is more than a technicality.

This wasn't about science, it was a publicity stunt; on that score it was brilliant.

We have to admit that Pluto is a vastly different bird to the others, who do pretty well flock together. Well, I fault it first and foremost on procedural grounds. Well, I find the revised definition (of planet) badly crafted, very arguable - needlessly so.

Who says scientists don't understand marketing?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lay's Plain! Let's Hear It For.

Can I recommend a delicious product to you? Lay's classic potato chips. Those things are good. Man, you can eat as many of those things as you want, and you'll still be eating them.

Flavor? PLAIN. Perfect. You don't even need to salt them! They've got the right amount - already. Just grab the biggest bag you can, pop-a-rip it open, and watch the chips fly! Into your mouth. You'll be digging in that bag with both hands, grabbing up huge double-handfuls, mashing up those crisp, delicate chips in your tightening fists heedless of the grease and crumbs, just so you can keep shoveling as much as you can as fast as you can into your mouth and it's hard to do that with two huge grasping handfuls of big, crisp fluffy chips headed for just one finite mouth! Then you'll realize it's not really effective enjoyment-wise to try to eat chips that way, so you'll slow down and savor, bringing each huge, crispy-diaphanous chip mouthwards with a slow, elegant flourish, pop it just past your spread-wide lips and *CRUNCH*! Bite down with one curt, decisive chomp. And then, smile wide with the deliciousness that hits and coats the entire inside of your mouth in spreading waves of salty pleasure.

Holy shit, that's a good potato chip.

Maybe they don't call it part of a square meal. "Junk food" some say - but if that's the case, the good people at Frito-Lay are making some junk food. And when you bite into that perfect golden saltness wisp of bold, crisp potato flavor, you'll be calling the government on the phone to say "if this is junk food, then baby better add another level to the Food Pyramid!"

The best thing about me telling you about Lay's chips in this venue, here at Consider Your Ass Kicked!, and completely unrecompensed in any way by the Frito-Lay corporation (except in the sense that we are all of us richly recompensed, simply by the fact that they have made their delicious chips available to us for purchase!) is that it's not technically "advertising," so I can say all I want. I can lie my ass off if I want, it doesn't have to be true, because it's not advertising. No one is claiming these claims are true. No claim is being made. So I can pretty much let loose full-bore! Lay's classic chips are U.S.D.A. Certified Organic - and they always have been. Nothing has been changed to kow-tow to those government fat-cat bureaucrats and their arbitrary certification regime. Also, Lay's classic potato chips are now made fresh and local, right in your own town the same day you buy them - made from potatoes grown in your own back yard, if you have one. That's the Frito-Lay guarantee.

Of course, they are the perfect when it comes to dipping in any dip you might care to dip a chip in! A thick dip might require a more judicious angle of insertion, and then pull back out slowly with gentle angled upward pressure to get some dip out of the bowl without breaking that fine chip of yours to pieces in the process. It works fine if you can finesse the technique, but you know what? Why bother. They're just so good plain. Who needs dip, with a chip this hip.

Lay's, baby. They're coming after you in your DREAMS after I described them so good. Now go hit the 24 hour and come back with bags and bags of 'em.

Tell 'em Joe sent you.

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #12

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)



Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"Gimme big, fat dudes to hang with - bald-headed men, heavy sleepers! That guy - man, he's all scrawny and starving-looking. A dude like that'll put a knife in you."


Monday, November 15, 2010

Yes, It Is Your Fault.

Yes, it is your fault.

It wasn't your choice, maybe. So what? It's still yours, not just in the sense that it is part of you, but more importantly in the sense that it is yours to deal with. To whatever extent it may be a problem, it's certainly your problem - not anyone else's. And it most definitely is a fault - or you wouldn't be so scrupulous about saying it's not your fault. It is a fault: a flaw. An imperfection - you have plenty of those, don't you? Don't we all? And this fault is in you. It is yours: your own. No amount of saying otherwise is going to make it not yours.

So own it.

Own yourself.

Do not disown yourself. You get nothing, no help from that transaction. No benefit. You won't feel better. You'll still be stuck living with, and dealing with the same shitty eyesight, or mental state, or chronic condition, or height or weight, every day in and out for as long as it (or life) persists. Maybe you'll have tricked yourself into some sort of state of denial, where if you claim it's not your fault, that will somehow make it easier to deal with. But how so? How will it make it easier, really? By what means can any portion of your burden be truly lifted, by pretending it isn't yours? Do tricks like that work?

The things that are wrong with you - whether arising through choices of your own or because you were born with them, whether they are intrinsic and incurable, or subject to some modification - those faults are as much a part of who you are as the things you consider right with you. I do not mean that as if to say "What would the light be without the darkness?" Mealy-mouthed, pap-minded imbecility, that! No, I mean it simply as if to say: you are yours and yours alone to carry. Others may help you, but the kindness of others, their mercy and charity doesn't absolve you of who and what you are. Grow up, and shoulder your whole load.

Only by taking on the entirety of who we are can we begin to have strength. The whole self we own is our whole muscle to lift - only the self we disown drags behind us, a burden. It doesn't matter whether a given point is bad or good, chosen or unchosen. Some faults are flesh-, blood-, bone-deep and will never go away; some faults you can acquire and cultivate. Just as some virtues are gifts that you appear to have simply been born with, while others can be instilled. It doesn't make a difference: all of it is you. Don't be such a weakling, such a coward as to pretend that the worser, more inconvenient parts of who you are are not yours.

If you can't own your faults, you have no claim on your virtues.

Work on the parts you can work on, sure - good and bad. But if the point is liking yourself, how about this approach? Like your whole self.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interview With: Myself

Q. What are your turn-ons?
Well, honesty is a big one. Honesty, a sense of responsibility, a sense of wonder. A sense of play. A sense of what's delicious. A sense of nudity.
Q. What about turn-offs?
Anyone who considers herself not my equal. Or, alternately, anyone who considers himself my equal.
Q. Sexually-wise, where's the best place to "put it"?
Well, I'm a vagina man myself. No offense to the other options.
Q. Does that extend to oral sex as well?
Look! This is getting kind of crazy, here - are these questions all going to be sex-related or what? I'd like to keep it more "family-friendly" here if I can. Yes.
Q. Fair enough. Fave children's book?
A Brief History of Time by Mr. Stephen W. Hawking
Q. What are the five greatest films of all time?
Haven't been made yet.
Q. An optimist, eh?
Where filmmaking's concerned.
Q. Whom do you most admire?
Hm. Tough one. The President of the United States.
Q. Obama?
Well, not just Obama alone, more all of them.
Q. So...you admire the office itself, more than the individuals who have occupied it?
Not so much like that. More like, I conceptualize the Presidency as a sort of a Doctor Who situation, where they keep regenerating him over and over again with a different appearance and personality.
Q. Hm. Wouldn't a setup like that undermine the whole purpose of the executive branch two-term limit?
Look, you don't need to make a big involved cosmology out of it, alright? It's just what came to mind - you're asking me to name off the top of my head who I most admire, - I just, suddenly that big ol' Eagle-blazoned seal filled my mind's eye and that Monty Python music struck up. It was an off-the-cuff answer, I'm a patriot what can I say. It doesn't really go that deep.
Q. Fair enough! Sorry. It's kind of hard to know with you sometimes when you're serious!
We done with the questions, then? That wasn't a question.
Q. Sorry! Right you are. Testy, eh?
"Testy?"
Q. Yeah, "Testy?"
Not particularly, but neither do I suffer fools with any great relish.
Q. "Fools"? You, uh...you do realize you're being interviewed by yourself, here. You realize that?
Look, pal. If that's the attitude you take towards the process, if that's the seriousness with which you approach this exercise, you can forget it. This interview is over. You can answer the rest of these damn inane questions yourself.
Q. No wait! Come back! Are you still there?
...
Q. Hello? Hello?
...
Q. Are you there?
...
Q. What is the square root of South Dakota?
...
Q. Shoot!
...
Q. Aw, man!
...
Q. I think he's gone.
...
Q. I had some pretty sweet questions lined up.
...
Q. I think he's gone.
...
Q. Damn it, I shouldn't have got off-track with that Presidency thing.
...
Q. It's just, it seemed like an intriguing concept! The implications seemed like they could be fruitfully followed up.
...
Q. Some people just have no damn sense of humor.

The Curious Gourmet #2

When you're making an omelette, or you're making scrambled eggs, you put a little milk in there with the eggs, right?

So what's wrong with a CORN FLAKES OMELETTE!!

Let's find out! Everybody make one at home, and then report the results in the comments.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #11

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)



Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:


"When you step on a bug, that little f'er feels its death as big as Andre the Giant's."


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The futility of certain comparisons

Last couple days, total waste. Why am I not doing the sinkfull of dishes? Why am I not sorting or at least straightening the house? As long as I'm stuck here. What am I doing instead? Lying in bed like an idiot. Like a moron. Lying in bed like a scumbag. Lying in bed like a rapist. Lying in bed like a racist pedophile. Lying in bed like a god damn mass-murderer. Lying in bed like a...who else lies in bed? Almost everybody, I guess. It's not a very valuable comparison really.

Sick of it, and of my cells and my tissues. Sick of it, and of sick. My humor turns black; nothing I want to say that I'll later have wanted to have shared. I can read at least, but I have nothing to read that takes me away from cursing myself for not doing the dishes.

Lying in bed like almost everybody except a homeless person.

Aw man.

Thank god I have a bed.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Feminist Critique and Deconstruction of AC/DC Rock Videos #1: You Shook Me All Night Long

Well, we might as well start with this one.

First of all, let me just say that if I was the average-Geordie bloke as portrayed here by Jonna, and I was going up into my lady's house, she had beckoned me up and I came in the front door and up the stairs, and through the door and then - she had a setup like that up there...?! That would raise some questions. For Christ's sake, that's a lot of stationary bicycles.

Now getting back to a more strictly intellectual feminist critique approach, from a feminist standpoint, this video stinks. Actually, that may have more to do with the video itself, and less to do with a feminist standpoint per se. But look, all the tell-tale hallmarks are there: 1. Objectification of women. 2. Sexual objectification of women. 3. Sexy objectification of women. 4. That's quite enough is it not? But what about the corruption of minors, or at least, of middle-aged men dressed as minors?

Oh, that's not true. "Middle-aged" - these guys were in their 30s at this point, tops. Look at Angus! Damn, he was HAWT. Still is, in fact, although he's kind of starting to resemble a miniaturized Dave Letterman. Maybe that's just the haircut. Anyway, here, though - this diminutive dynamo of minor pentatonic pyrotechnics is in peak form - and I don't only mean musically! rrRROWrr.

And you know, that could be raised as arguably a really strong point on this video's behalf. Because there's really quite a lot of hot male here, to ogle. This band is eye candy. I mean, practically the first thing we see is Brian Johnson, barrel-chested and virile, taking a particularly vigorous bubble bath (still with his hat and boots on)! And then all that smokin' hot young Young brothers, prowling the streets of Amsterdam or London or wherever this was shot, with their sexy little antics. To say nothing of Cliff Williams (that comparatively tall drink of water on bass guitar) and Simon "Do Ya" Wright on drums (yes, I know it sounds like Phil Rudd, but that's definitely Simon Wright back there in the video!). In terms of sheer bristling sexuality, these men blow at least most of those skinny bike ho's right off the stage! So maybe it equals out, you might say? Exploitativeness-wise? Tentatively?

Well, no. That's where you'd be wrong. Because as a committed feminist, I'm telling you. It doesn't equal out. These women are being presented as objects. You can practically see the light bouncing and reflecting off of their exterior surfaces, and they way they appear to occupy space and possess mass (not much, some of them, it's true, but still!). It's as plain as day and it's simply inarguable. And it's just not right to present women as objects.

Nor am I saying they should be venerated as ethereal beings! That sort of benighted Victorianized Romanticism is just as benighted.

In fact, I'm not actually sure how or in what manner it would be acceptable to present women. We feminists ourselves are still figuring that one out. It's a behind-the-scenes controversy within the movement. And let me tell you, sometimes the debate gets a little heated, if you know what I mean. But that's only to be expected! When you get a lot of people together who are all passionate about the same cause, but who have some pretty passionate disagreements as to how best to go about getting what we all know everybody in the room wants - there's friction, and things will get heated.

We'll let you know how it turns out, in terms of what if any presentation of women is acceptable. But in the meantime, you can be pretty damn sure that the manner of presentation as seen in this video ain't it.

Wherever you are

Wherever you are
it's 3AM
and I'm awake



imagine the light
upon your blue,
transparent face

Saturday, November 06, 2010

You have to work through your feelings.

GOD I'm annoying.

God, how can I be so annoying?

Can I really be that annoying? What is it that I'm doing, specifically, that could be so annoying!

Shit, I'm probably not that annoying. I mean, I'm probably not that annoying. I bet most people don't even notice!

In fact, I'm probably not annoying at all. What the hell's wrong with me!

Calling myself annoying.

The nerve.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Poetry Critique Update: Pretty Pleased!

I tell you, I kind of fell by the wayside on those monthly poetry output critiques, but I was just looking over some of what I've done in there since June or so. And I had a bit of a shock! Because I think - I have become a really passable poet.

Have any of you been reading that stuff? I mean, I know some of you have, I'm not sure if others do. But some of it is really pretty good! I mean, yes, I know there are also a lot of pieces in there that sort of take potshots at the very sanctity of poetry itself, that tread upon the idea of poetry with contempt. Or, that simply suck. But those pieces are part of my overall style, too! Part of my body of work, my oeuvre. I think that if you're going to use words like "oeuvre," then you have to counterbalance that with a little contempt for the form, from time to time, or else you just look like an asshole. You know, like one of those people who is really...self-precious about what you do.

Nobody wants to read poetry coming from THAT sort of mindset, I assure you.

But take a look at some of these. Look at dead letter. Wow. I love this poem! It's not - it isn't earthshaking fantastic. I know it is not. But it is just - sad, and sits there and it's looking at you, like the letter. You know everything that letter is holding inside, worded perfectly, venom put to penmanship and exactly what you meant - and it sits there. Accusing you: unsent. Waiting.

Will all these words that so need to be said, ever be sent? Ever be read?

Maybe the poem itself is a little pat at the end there, ending as it does. I don't want to spoil it, but that ending could possibly be a little pat. With a tear and a kiss! "Elloelle!" I'm not entirely sure if it is or it isn't pat. It definitely looked pat to me. But then I tweaked the line breaking at the very end, and now...I think it actually works!

These works of mine are not mighty works. But I had to say something, because I tell you, I am so low-key pleased right now with myself!

I am a passable poet.

RAH!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

ENOUGH With the Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers, Okay?!

ENOUGH with the God-damn bacon blue-cheese burgers already, okay? I know it's like, the trendy combination or something, with the creamy-crumbly stinky-chic strength of that blue cheese just melting into the thick, crisp, fatted-salt strips of delicious bacon, all jammed together in a warm, toasty bun around that fat, juicy beef patty, - a THICK one! - cooked perfect-to-pink in the middle as you chaw down another bite closer to its hot, red beefy sweetness in the center - but ENOUGH, okay? ENOUGH already, with these goddamn bacon blue cheese burgers. Enough!

I mean shit. I've had three of these things, already. To say nothing of the sides of fries! It's too much.

Enough.